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Industrial Collaboration For An Interdisciplinary Elective In Applied System Design And Remote Diagnostics

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.575.1 - 6.575.7



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Paper Authors

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Robert Gray

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1347

Industrial Collaboration for an Interdisciplinary Elective in Applied System Design and Remote Diagnostics Robert Gray, Robert S. Weissbach The Pennsylvania State University at Erie


Electrical and mechanical engineering technology students at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College are being provided the opportunity to make a connection between theory and real life practice. In this class, the students analyze a large system (a locomotive) and systematically break the large system down into its respective subsystems. The integration of these subsystems is discussed in terms of reliability from both a theoretical and practical viewpoint, as guest lecturers from industry supplement the class theory with their own real- world experiences. Students get hands-on experience with the locomotive, including taking the locomotive on test runs, while also studying system design analytically using Matlab. Specific locomotive systems will be addressed, such as engines, control, communications and remote monitoring. Other issues to be discussed include sensors, Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), risk assessment, the system design process and the importance of quality and reliability issues in the design of real-world systems. At the conclusion of the class, the students will be capable of looking at engineering through the eyes of those in the field. Both successful as well as unsuccessful systems engineering practices are absorbed before the students enter the engineering workplace.


Most electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology curricula focus on specific aspects of electrical engineering, such as circuits, motors, communication systems, etc. However, it is rare to find an undergraduate class whose purpose is to not only look at electrical engineering and technology from a systems level, but also to look at how the electrical system integrates with mechanical systems. Furthermore, very few classes ever discuss real-world aspects of the reliability and design limitations associated with putting a real-world design into practice. At Penn State Erie, both electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology students were offered the opportunity to take a real-world system (a locomotive) and break it down into its subsystems. The students then looked at how the subsystems were integrated together, as well as the difficulties encountered in achieving system integration. In

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Gray, R., & Weissbach, R. (2001, June), Industrial Collaboration For An Interdisciplinary Elective In Applied System Design And Remote Diagnostics Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9373

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